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"But you are female.""So? I have always enjoyed the company of women, and being one myself removes a lot of social barriers."
—Valesti Disore (formerly John Glasken), Eyes of the Calculor
Oh no! Somehow your sex has changed! Just when you were working up the nerve to confess your love to that classmate you like! But wait, this situation isn't hopeless...
Now you're the same sex (this trope only seems to happen to heterosexual people) as them. If you become their best friend, maybe you can learn enough about them to date them as your true self, and they'll never figure out that you are the same person! Of course like all the best plans it can and will go awry.
May occur with either Gender Bender or crossdressing (Disguised in Drag or Sweet Polly Oliver) scenarios. Compare and contrast Jumping the Gender Barrier and Dropped a Bridget On Him. Like most Gender Bender tropes this is generally subject to the First Law of Gender Bending, but there are exceptions.
Anime & Manga
- Futaba-Kun Change!. Although in the end, Misaki finds out, accepts it, and finds a way to Gender Bender herself in the same way to make herself a compatible mate to Futaba-kun/chan, similar to the Zerophilia example below.
- Gacha Gacha: Secret
- CUTExGUY. One of the few cases of a girl-turned-guy becoming friends with her male crush.
- In Ichinensei Ni Nacchattara, the high-school protagonist gets hit by a truck after a Diving Save the day he planned to confess to his crush and is rebuilt as an elementary school girl by a lolicon scientist. His crush turns out to be the scientist's sister. He lives with them from then on -- the sister unaware of his true identity -- and does enjoy some pleasant situations from time to time, though he doesn't exploit his position as much as he could. Interestingly, the protagonist's best friend in school is the girl he saved from getting hit by that truck, who has a crush on the protagonist's original self.
- Pretty Face. Except here only the person's face is changed, not his entire gender, and his love interest mistakes him for her twin sister. But otherwise it fits.
- Kämpfer spends a lot more time having fun with this than it does with the ostensible premise of the show.
- Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
- Fudanshism runs off of this; the protagonist disguises himself as a girl when his sister is too sick to go to a convention where he runs into his crush. To the protagonist's increasing bafflement his crush quickly becomes good friends with his female alter-ego while continuing to ignore the real him.
- Inverted in Ranma ½. Shampoo loves Ranma when he's a boy, because he beat her in a fight and she comes from an obscure Chinese Amazon-like tribe that marries men who beat them. When he's a girl, Shampoo wants to tear him to shreds, because he beat her as a girl too and that's another tribal custom.
- In Kanaete Aizen (Grant My Wish, Aizen) what appears to be a "shy boy wishes for a hot girl and wakes up as one instead" Be Careful What You Wish For plot actually turns out to be a Gender Bender Friendship Plan on the part of a (seemingly) Literal Genie to get Aizen to confess his love for his Unlucky but soon to be Victorious Childhood Friend Yuzu.
Films -- Live-Action
- One of the plots in the film Tootsie.
- Zerophilia is about a genetic condition that switches people's genders after sex, in the end the hero/heroine discovers his girlfriend/friend and boyfriend/rival are the same person.
- In Sorority Boys, the three male leads are kicked out of their fraternity and dress up as women to seek refuge in what is deemed the "ugly" sorority house. In the process, one of the men ends up being friends with a girl he'd met earlier and hit on unsuccessfully, but now has a chance to get to truly know. Of course, Hilarity Ensues.
- Some Like It Hot
- The last book in Sean McMullan's Greatwinter Trilogy has this happen to its lovable letch John Glasken. Irony of ironies, he winds up enjoying girl-friendship more than hawt sechs, as shown in the page quote.
- An intensely awkward example happens in Sergey Lukyanenko's Night Watch when Anton's had his mind swapped with Olga. He can't tell Svetlana what's happened until they reach her warded apartment...after she's had a very private conversation with "Olga" about Anton.
- This happened in The Zack Files once, except that the genderbent character was trying to set the girl up with his friend, not with himself.
- In the now-discontinued french TV-series Vice Versa, the main character Thomas sometimes uses his double Emmanuelle/Julia in order to get information on his crush.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch did this deliberately with a spell to turn her into a boy so she could find out what her boyfriend talked about with his friends when girls weren't around.
- Order of the Stick has a What Could Have Been example: originally, Roy was going to use the Belt of Masculinity/Femininity to have some "girl talk" with Miko. Burlew decided against it this when he realized Miko wasn't quite fit for "lighthearted romantic comedy" situations, so instead, Roy realized his physical attraction to Miko had been preventing him from realizing how utterly unlikable she is.
- Misfile is built around this trope.
- The Fairly Odd Parents: Timmy once accidentally wished himself into a girl, then using it to find out what present to get his crush, Trixie. After becoming best friends with her under his assumed gender, he turns back into a boy, goes to the party and attempts to act sensitive. He's promptly thrown out by security. It should be noted that although Trixie had him thrown out, it looked as though she was genuinely touched by his attempt. She even remembered his name. Since he was only thrown out so she could maintain her reputation, one wonders how she would have responded if they had been alone... wait, nevermind.